The coming of spring means several things to us. Longer days, warmer nights, grilling, camping, picnicking, loafers, and all the other awesome things that come to mind when the world thaws. Of our favorite warm-weather activities, spring time cocktail drinking is quite possibly our favorite. Yes, cold-weather cocktail drinking is one of our favorite winter activities, sure. Come to think of it, summer cocktail drinking is another one of our favorite activities. Maybe we’re just a bunch of boat shoe-wearing alcoholics. Who knows?

The Classic Daiquiri

The word “daiquiri” is one most men wouldn’t be caught dead even thinking about. The problem with that mentality is that it invokes sugary, pre-mixed, high fructose corn syrup in a bottle, mixed with some ice and cheap rum, and served in a crappy dollar store mug. But an authentic daiquiri is the perfect blend of sweet and bitter, and is an excellent way to quench your thirst and have something crisp and refreshing on a hot day. And with its light ingredient list—rum, fresh lime juice, and some simple syrup—it’s also super easy to put together at home. Recipe


Bourbon Lemonade

One of our favorite year ‘round boozes, bourbon neat or with a bit of ice is usually our go-to spring drink. But when we’re looking for something a little more complex and refreshing, nothing beats a bourbon lemonade. There are a million and one recipes out there for a good bourbon lemonade, but we prefer one that involves making fresh, from-scratch lemonade. This recipe involves fresh squeezed lemon juice, a lot of sugar, a little bit of orange juice, mint sprigs, and a whole heaping helping of bourbon. All you do is mix the non-booze ingredients together, then toss the mix in a glass with a shot of your favorite bourbon. Boom. Good to go. Recipe


Barbecue Cocktail

When chefs dip their fingers into the cocktail cookie jar, things usually either go really well or shockingly awful. This recipe for a “Barbecue Cocktail” from the one and only Bobby Flay is a definite win for us since we first tried it a couple years ago. Think of it as a kind of smoked Bloody Mary of sorts. It incorporates pepper infused vodka, dry vermouth, tomato juice, lime juice, smoked Spanish paprika, sugar, and lime for garnish. It’s also super simple to throw together. Recipe


The Paloma

Another exquisite classic cocktail, the Paloma brings all our favorite warm weather ingredients together into one delicious, refreshing drink: Fresh squeezed lime and grapefruit juices, a little bit of sugar, a splash of club soda, and a quarter cup of your favorite tequila or mescal. It’s the perfect highball cocktail that gets things sweet and bitter without being overbearing, and it’s the kind of cocktail you could drink all day and night without losing your bearings or risk “overindulging” on. Recipe


Greek Gin and Tonic

The classic gin and tonic is one of our favorite drinks because it’s simple, approachable, and has a deliciously sweet finish that goes down perfectly on a warm evening. This twist to the classic, however, utilizes lime, cucumber, and rosemary in order to give your standard gin and tonic extra layers. The bite of the lime, mixed with the refreshing pine flavor of the rosemary, along with the subtle peppery flavor from the peppercorn makes this cocktail one of our absolute springtime favorites. Recipe


The Classic Margarita

Like the daiquiri, the classic margarita is a drink whose honorable name has been muddled with high fructose, sugary sweet, premixed frozen grossness. As fans of classic margaritas, this is both frustrating and concerning, because a real margarita is a simple, tasty, and complex thing of glory, that’s easy to put together and sure to cool things off when the temperatures go up. The classic margarita is little more than fresh lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau, with salt and lime wedges for garnish. All of those ingredients are shaken together and strained into a glass over ice. It’s that simple, and that damn good. Recipe


Tequila Sunrise

Another drink that gets a notoriously bad reputation for being too girly and sweet, tequila sunrises are an excellent “hair of the dog” cocktail, or just something fun and easy to drink on a warm spring afternoon (or morning after). And it’s refreshing, too. The recipe calls for tequila, orange juice, and a splash of grenadine to level things out and give the cocktail necessary sweetness. All you do is add the tequila and orange juice into a chilled highball glass, and then float a little bit of grenadine on top and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry. The cocktail is very aesthetically pleasing, super simple to make, and is an easy and approachable cocktail for those early summer barbecues or get-togethers. Recipe


Moscow Mule

If we could pick one quintessential springtime cocktail, it’d definitely have to be the Moscow mule. This timeless classic calls for vodka, lime juice, and ice cold ginger beer, mixed into either a Collins or highball glass, or a fancy copper Moscow mug if you have one. The best thing about this recipe is that if you’re not a fan of vodka, you can do a direct swap for your favorite bourbon and have yourself a Kentucky mule that tastes just as good. The only important thing to keep in mind is that you must use ginger beer. If you’re hard up for it, don’t deign to ginger ale. At that point, you’re not drinking a mule any more. Recipe

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